Beyond the Grammar Wars : A Resource for Teachers and Students on Developing Language Knowledge in the English/Literacy Classroom book cover
1st Edition

Beyond the Grammar Wars
A Resource for Teachers and Students on Developing Language Knowledge in the English/Literacy Classroom

Edited By

Terry Locke

ISBN 9780415802659
Published March 24, 2010 by Routledge
336 Pages

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Book Description

Are there evidence-based answers to the broad question "What explicit knowledge about language in teachers and/or students appears to enhance literacy development in some way"? Distinguished by its global perspective, its currency, and its comprehensiveness, Beyond the Grammar Wars:

  • provides an historical overview of the debates around grammar and English/literacy teaching in four settings: the US, England, Scotland and Australia
  • offers an up-to-date account of what the research is telling (and not telling) us about the effectiveness of certain kinds of grammar-based pedagogies in English/literacy classrooms
  • takes readers into English/literacy classrooms through a range of examples of language/grammar-based pedagogies which have proven to be successful
  • addresses metalinguistic issues related to changes in textual practices in a digital and multimodal age, and explores the challenges for educators who are committed to finding a "usable grammar" to contribute to teaching and learning in relation to these practices.

All of the contributors are acknowledged experts in their field. Activities designed for use in language and literacy education courses actively engage students in reflecting on and applying the content in their own teaching contexts.

Table of Contents



  1. Introduction: "Grammar Wars" and beyond
  2. Terry Locke

    Part I: The "Grammar Wars" in context

  3. Blowin’ in the wind: English grammar in United States schools.
  4. Martha Kolln and Craig Hancock

  5. The problematics of prescribing grammatical knowledge: The case in England
  6. Urszula Clark

  7. The Grammar Wars in Australia
  8. Frances Christie

  9. Knowledge about language in the English classroom: A Scottish perspective
  10. Graeme Trousdale

    Part II: The effectiveness of grammar teaching: The research record

  11. Teaching sentence-level grammar for writing: The evidence so far
  12. Richard Andrews

  13. Explicit teaching of grammar: Does it help students to become better writers?
  14. Amos van Gelderen

  15. Ways of knowing: Writing with grammar in mind
  16. Debra Myhill

    Part III: Into the classroom: Integrating knowledge about language with learning

  17. "Language as a system of meaning potential": The reading and design of verbal texts
  18. Hilary Janks

  19. Discovering a metalanguage for all seasons: Bringing literary language in from the cold
  20. Terry Locke

  21. Scaffolding grammar instruction for writers and writing
  22. Constance Weaver

  23. Primary school children learning grammar: Rethinking the possibilities
  24. Ruth French


    Section IV: Beyond print: A metalanguage for multimodal texts

  25. A grammar for meaning-making
  26. Gunther Kress

  27. Schemas for meaning-making and multimodal texts
  28. Anne Cloonan, Mary Kalantzis and Bill Cope

  29. Resourcing multimodal literacy pedagogy: Towards a description of the meaning-making resources of language-image interaction
  30. Len Unsworth

  31. Rules of grammar, rules of play: Computer games, literacy, and literature

Andrew Burn

List of Contributors

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Terry Locke is Professor of Education and Chair of the Department of Arts and Language Education in the School of Education, University of Waikato, New Zealand.